I was a fan of Billy Bragg before I started grad school, but I only knew Mermaid Avenue and Reaching to The Converted. My first semester I was jamming with a friend in my program who was from The Czech Republic by way of Canada, and he played me this song.
Since then, pretty much every time I see someone sleeping in the street–while in Brazil, while in downtown Portland, wherever–I think of this verse:
A nation with their freezers full
Are dancing in their seats
While outside another nation
Is sleeping in the streets
There’s just something about the image that stuck with me.
Full lyrics here.